Food Goz with Bojoon.com
Whip the cooks
Sri Lankans have begun to discover that they have
been denied of the country’s traditional mouthwatering dishes made of a
variety of titillating vegetables and fruits
By Sandamalee de Fonseka
Our last week’s goz on Piawoos’s cheese kottu promoted one of
The Nation’s readers to ask from bojoon.com of other unusual food.
Today, with the craze of fusing one culinary dish with the other, there
is a variety of unusual food to be found and enjoyed in Sri Lanka. For
instance, Hotel Earl’s Regency, Kandy once created a very Sri Lankan
style sushi to bojoon.com with kos and katta sambol wrapped in spinach
(log on to www.bojoon.com for recipe). Very nice!
However, not all unusual dishes necessarily belong to fusion cuisine.
Some adventurous chefs mix and match cheese and chalk type of
ingredients and come up with interesting dishes like the Habarana Chaaya
Village’s coffee chicken roulade. Then there are food items that are
found exclusively in one region like the khelm kola found only in Yala,
which more than its thick jungle flavor is renowned for its ability to
reduce blood sugar levels. As the Yala Village’s chef showed bojoon.com
this leaf can be made into a sambol or into a white curry (log on to
www.bojoon.com for both recipes).
Then, there are food items that are not a chef’s novel creation, but
done right that it becomes almost exclusive to that establishment – like
the chocolate and liqueur dipped strawberries found in Fine Things,
Colombo Hilton. While chocolate-dipped strawberries are found in almost
every 5-star hotel, none has gone into detail about what’s Colombo
Some food become exclusive when one culinary establishment preserves
tradition and keeps it alive and over time that food is found only in
that establishment like the alpé found only at Delight Bakers & Sweet
House (Pvt.) Ltd – the sweet shop right in front of Cargills Food City,
Kandy. For the many non-Kandy readers who do not know what an alpé is,
this is a twisty caramel stick. The caramel is in different degrees and
thus the outer layer is hard as rock with the inside layers getting
flakier and as the saying goes, melts in the mouth.
We speak of alpé with caution as this is highly addictive and habit
forming. I have not come across a single person who has been immune to
alpé. The grumpiest faces twist into wide smiles as they beg for more!
There is a reason why Sri Lanka is considered a paradise, and that is
its almost boundless variety of vegetables, fruits, pulses and roots.
Sadly, most of us who live in the busy cities know only a handful of
these wonderful foods. This makes these ‘unknown’ food unusual when
discovered, like the menneri, which we once enjoyed while in Kataragama
and now one of our regular breakfast components. We can’t understand why
this delicious, nutritious dish, which is the softer, creamier version
of oats, is not featured in any of our breakfast buffets.
Then in our long history, there are dishes that have gained significance
because of an occasion it graced. The example that readily comes to mind
is not one dish, but 32 dishes served as alms to the Sacred Tooth in the
Temple of Tooth Kandy.
Equally interesting, though not as well known is the story of Dutugamunu
and his queen to be, Ranmanika. This is one of the most romantic stories
in history. As we all know, Prince Gamini was born when part of Sri
Lanka was occupied by a Dravidian force. He grew up wanting to liberate
the people from the occupiers, which his father vehemently opposed.
Finally, the Prince sent ladies garments to his father (which earned him
his opprobrious title, dutta) and escaped to the hills to gather his
What is not that well known is his life in the hills and it is one of
the most beautiful stories ever. Concocting the sad story of a step-dad
chasing him from home he walked into a village, where a young girl,
Ranmanika fell in love with him. The Prince however liked her older
sister, Kalumanika, who was a considerable beauty. Being the daughter of
the village headman, haughty Kalumanika however refused the Prince’s
attention thinking the worst of him. Over the years, gentle Ranmanika
grew into a beautiful woman and her rhubarb leaves in pickled curry – a
fantastic rice-puller (log on to www.bojoon.com for recipe) – along with
her grace finally shifted the Prince’s attention from the Kalumanika to
Unlimited at Hilton Colombo
A sumptuous and spicy feast as
Hilton Colombo brings to you 2100 kgs of Kottu
Kottu is indisputably, Sri Lanka’s favourite comfort food but, this
distinction may not last much longer. The Hilton Colombo now attempts to
take a nation’s yearning for this delicious dish to even greater
proportions, by showcasing this much loved specialty to the world, as
part of its “2,100 kg of Kottu” fundraiser. Join friends and families,
and bear witness to what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to
participate in a potential world’s first, when 40 chefs from the Hilton
Colombo’s Curry Leaf Restaurant will prepare 2,100 kgs of Chicken Kottu
between 5.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. on Sunday, October 21, 2007, at the
Hilton Colombo Sports Centre Car Park.
Open to all, “2,100 kgs of Kottu” is a first of its kind fundraising
event, where guests will witness this spectacular blending of spices,
roti and lots of chicken supplied by Maxies & Company Private Ltd
Tantalisingly Thai at Mount
If you are a connoisseur of Thai cuisine, do not miss this
opportunity to indulge in the ultimate of authentic Thai food, prepared
by Chef Voravit and Chef Chaveewan flown in especially for the occasion
from Novotel Bangkok, at the Hut, Mount Lavinia Hotel from October 21-27
from 7:30 p.m. onwards. Rs. 1800/- per person.
Did you know Thai food is beneficial to your health? Thai chefs use less
fat, small amounts of meat and a variety of vegetables, and the freshest
of ingredients. Thai cuisine provides the right nutrients to help with
digestion and the gastro intestinal system.
Summer Fest at Summerfields
A ‘Summer Fest’ at Summerfields – and what might that
be, one may ask? For the health conscious, this is a must have
experience because plenty of salads have been created for your
indulgence. From the south-eastern region of Victoria, Australia, a
variety of salad mixes and single line lettuce with their own individual
flavours are combined with Chermoula Chicken, five spice Duck, Grilled
Pesto Vegetables such as capsicums, egg plant, zucchini, baby beets,
roasted plum tomatoes, char grilled baby octopus and juniper Berry and
Vodka infused Salmon Gravalax – a huge selection of mouthwatering salads
as you can see.
A choice of condiments and dressings are a further add on, while the
‘Spring’ Lamb from South Gippsland in Victoria, Australian Angus Beef
from Wagga in Northern New South Wales, prime Steer Beef from the rich
pastures of Central Victoria are some of the mains in the carefully
prepared menu. Fresh Atlantic Salmon from the pristine waters of
Tasmania and wild Barramundi from North Queensland, Coffin Bay Scallops
from the southern waters of Australia are also on the cards. Last but
not least is the selection of Cheese from the Yarra Valley, also in
For Desserts – a promise has been made to provide a sinful selection and
nothing less! Wijay – the Executive Pastry Chef proudly says his team
will have on parade their best, which means those with a sweet tooth,
are in for a pleasant surprise!
Australian born Chef German (where the letter G reads as an H) Dimaano
will join the Trans Asia’s kitchen brigade to bring on this unusual
feast of salads and mains from October 22 to 31, during dinner only at
Summerfields, Trans Asia Hotel.